Venice
January 1626, 22-30

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1913

Pages

288-303

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: January 1626, 22-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 19: 1625-1626 (1913), pp. 288-303. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89054 Date accessed: 25 July 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

January 1626

Jan. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
430. SIMON CONTARINI and MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Botrò has returned from England, where the king gave him a jewel from his own finger. He reports having received a thousand courtesies and favours. He preceded the ambassadors, who arrived unexpectedly the day before yesterday, and had audience of his Majesty yesterday evening. We sent to pay our respects to which they responded cordially, especially Carleton, a man of great capacity and skill in affairs, a bitter enemy of the Spaniards and a devoted servant of the Queen of Bohemia, so while he takes a leading part in affairs one cannot but hope for a happy issue.
The Bishop of Mandes, who is nephew to the cardinal and has also returned from England, brings a clear account of all the disturbances that took place in the queen's household there, and how they are adjusted at present, as well as of the restitution to French merchants of 150,000 crowns to meet their claims for ships taken by the English fleet. The bishop is highly esteemed by his Majesty and his unexpected arrival has aroused much comment and they say he may be appointed Secretary of State.
The Ambassador of Savoy writes to M. Morosini from London on the 14th inst. that things are going well there and they hope they have not taken the journey in vain; if the affairs of the Huguenots can be kept in the balance for at least the whole of this month, they do not doubt but that everything will be adjusted to the common satisfaction.
The Dutch ambassadors here received an express from Holland the day before yesterday ordering them to point out to his Majesty and the Council the perils of Germany and that Denmark can hardly carry on the war without help from France, as the money and promises of England are too great and in great part suspect, so Denmark would not have embarked so readily upon documents and articles well conceived but not carried out.
Paris, the 22nd January, 1625 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
431. SIMON CONTARINI and MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Reception of Contarini by the king. Touches affairs of Italy and Huguenots. Went on to speak of quarrels with England. Begged the king, with prudent dissimulation, to seize upon the advantage offered to league by a good understanding with the King of Great Britain, the master of a strong and warlike realm, with a powerful fleet and who had recently made a league with Denmark and the Dutch, so that he can easily make a very useful diversion. It would be wise to knit together that friendship as the King of England would not have sent the ambassadors who have just arrived if he did not incline to stop scandals and strengthen friendship.
As regards England, the king said he recognised the advantage of their friendship and would do what was proper.
Paris, the 22nd January, 1625 [M.V.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
431. SIMON CONTARINI and MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday we went to see Cardinal Richelieu. We discussed the question of the Huguenots. On the subject of the disputes with the English he answered with some amount of feeling: We made that alliance expecting to marry England to France more than to marry individuals, and that the intervening sea would form the bed for the couple, but it has turned out the reverse, as they have not only failed to keep the marriage treaty in the matter of the Catholics but they have behaved indecently in the queen's own household, by taking the chaplain of the king's ambassador there. They have afforded a refuge to Soubise and though they say they do not see him, they shut their eyes and open their hands. They have taken the ships of the king's subjects and sold their goods, in short they have behaved so shamefully that his Majesty's frank and generous nature cannot put up with it.
At this point I Contarini endeavoured to soothe him, pointing out various considerations, and how England could injure the Spaniards and help us.
The cardinal's face grew calmer and he remarked: It is usually said that in great affairs if one side plays the fool the other must be wise. If they act like the ancient French we shall be like the Venetians, that is if they are fools we will try and prove ourselves wise.
Paris, the 22nd January, 1625 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 23.
Senato,
Terra.
Venetian
Archives.
432. To the Ambassador in England.
The republic needs a quantity of good gunpowder, which they have previously obtained in that country at a reasonable price. Order to look out merchants who will bring some at their own cost and risk, arranging the most advantageous price and awaiting confirmation from Venice, which will be sent immediately.
The like to the ambassador at the Hague.
Ayes, 151.Noes, 1.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Jan. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
433. To the Ambassador in France and the like to England.
Our Bailo's letters of the 1st ult. tell us of the arrival at the Porte of an ambassador from the Prince of Transsylvania, who in his audience of the Caimecan only spoke of the tribute and handed over a letter only speaking of the marriage with Brandenburg's sister. He received various honours; he conferred with the ambassadors of his Majesty and Holland, and our Bailo assuring them of the goodwill of his master to serve the league and that he was anxiously awaiting some reply to his advances. He had a large force ready to attack the emperor once they made up their minds, but he would not venture anything without their support, and therefore everything depended upon the resolution of the league. The ambassadors seemed convinced of the prince's sincerity, nor did they doubt that if he made war on the emperor the Turks would help him. They told the Bailo that they would write to their princes, adding that the Transsylvanian ambassador had informed them that if no resolution came from the princes his master would disarm.
We send you these particulars so that you may discover what decisions may be taken at your Court upon the receipt of these advices, sending us word in your letters so that we also may decide what steps to take.
Ayes, 142.Noes, 4.Neutral, 9.
[Italian.]
Jan. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
434. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
When I could not keep the Master of the Ceremonies in confinement any longer, your Serenity's commands reached me, of the 29th November and the 6th and 19th December. I asked a special audience of his Majesty, thanked him about Lewkenor, and asked for his release in the terms prescribed to me. The king was very pleased that the republic was satisfied, and much more at the request for release, owing to the importunity of others. He told me Lewkenor was not altogether to blame, but he had acted out of respect for the republic, and he was glad your Excellencies recognised his good intentions. In the future he would see that such incidents did not occur.
The king immediately informed the Council of my offices, as the Councillors were present, although his Majesty heard me apart. They decided that Lewkenor should be reinstated, and that this was due to my request alone, and he must ask my pardon and offer his services for the future. When he came to Court he went on his knees to beg the king to excuse this, and his backers say that this punishment is worse than being banished from the Court and his office. However, the king insisted. Accordingly Lewkenor came to my house accompanied by a gentleman of the king's chamber. He offered excuses and humbled himself, though he did not use all the words commanded. I did not wish to be hard. I spoke to him of the friendly relations between the republic and this crown and the duty of ministers on both sides to strengthen this union and how those who serve princes must treat ambassadors well and show them honour. I placed myself between these two cavaliers in pleasant discourse.
The matter is thus closed happily; Lewkenor will certainly be circumspect and the king and all the Court praised my conduct. I am glad to have come off so well, as the king has been besieged by the Courtiers egged on by the French ambassador and the queen herself, so that her ambassador might have the honour of his release. He used every possible violence, but I knew of all his efforts in good time and forestalled him, and without entering into any contest or the shadow of a quarrel with him I have succeeded in rendering his attempts vain. He told me himself that he did not wish to press the matter further for my greater satisfaction. I pretended to admire his prudence.
London, the 23rd January, 1625 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
435. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have set forth your Serenity's wishes for a good understanding between this crown and France, and advocated the best way to secure it. All recognise your Serenity's zeal and prudence. They told me that the Huguenots will submit, but we must await the issue of the negotiations of the king's ambassador. To discover their intentions I said that declarations in favour of the Huguenots and the hope of help here might make matters worse. A leading minister told me very resolutely that they will seize any good opportunity here of making peace. The duke, however, in talking with me about public affairs in general, told me that at present they are more concerned about the interests of religion than anything else, but all their arguments and efforts were directed to secure peace in that realm.
Peninton has not made any move with his ships, though he has orders to be ready to carry out the commands already reported, but this will only be if matters take a bad turn, and if the French do the right thing they can easily prevent all jealousy.
The Ambassador of Savoy after receiving honours which I consider far greater than were necessary has left for France. He lost two demonstrations, one a banquet which the king had arranged with him in the duke's most noble dwelling, which he missed owing to toothache, though it may have been a pretence; the other that the duke, guided by youthful advice, wished to accompany the ambassador with the Earl of Carlisle as far as Dover, but the latter objected, pointing out the more urgent affairs to be done here. Their eagerness to pique the French ambassador has induced them to make warmer demonstrations to the Savoyard, who has promised to uphold their views here. He remarked to me that the English are inclined to do very well, but they do not wish to treat with Blenville; the king's ambassadors will slip away before his arrival in France, which will help to serve the common cause. I think he will confine himself to generalities in his dealings, because the queen mother would not promise more; for negotiating in this kingdom; they pressed him chiefly for the consent of the Most Christian to enter upon an alliance, in order to draw in the most serene republic and the Duke of Savoy. The ambassador refused nothing and offered everything.
Before he left an extraordinary courier reached him from his Highness, after which he announced the pope's declaration in favour of the Spaniards, and that by the middle of February his Highness will have 25,000 foot and 2,500 horse; he is ready to enter the State of Milan; the French commanders have withdrawn, but he will act by himself; the first object of this prince is to find a way of aggrandising himself with safety and assistance but unaccompanied and unhindered by others.
Wake's secretary came with the idea of helping the duke to get the ships. He told me that they are much inclined here to favour his Highness, and the news from Italy strengthened this disposition; they heard of the duke's strong forces and his readiness to enter the State of Milan, but he would not decide until he heard from that quarter. The secretary told me this not as certain news, as he had not seen Wake's letters to the Secretary Conway. The ambassador told me, however, that things should move in Italy, but his Highness needs a certain number of ships. I fancy he has made a great impression here by pointing out that the king might win great advantages in Corsica, since the Genoese have their richest treasures there. They gave him hopes of affording him some satisfaction up to the very moment of his departure. I fancy they offered him ships to be armed subsequently by the duke, but the ambassador did not consent because he had no orders, and it would be useless to his Highness, but they promised him to accommodate Savoy with the ships given to France.
The leading ministers told me that the provisions desired by his Highness depend upon what happens in France. If I can discover further particulars I will forward them. I know that these transactions are connected with Wake's offices. Things point to long delays.
The Savoyard ambassador complained that the French treated him as if his master was inferior to the most serene republic. The Frenchman complained that he did not show proper respect for the Most Christian at the suggestion of the English, in the matter of visits. There was a good deal of acrimony in all this.
The duke is becoming as intimate as possible with the queen, to whom the king has given a noble palace in this city which belonged to the deceased queen, (fn. 1) adorned with the richest decoration and with countless amenities. This present was greatly appreciated and has led to a more intimate understanding between their Majesties.
London, the 23rd January, 1625 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
436. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have arranged for the release of the goods of the ship Faith. Some bales remain of which the owners are not known. Many are suspect because for Jews; the bills of lading are in Spanish, which they take as showing the goods to belong to that nation. The Secretary Cuch has taken possession of the books and bills of lading, promising to tell me about them, but he has not done so. If I could show a guarantee of your Serenity it might supply what I lack.
The duke did not show himself easy to me in this affair, but I won him by proving our rights. He said he was resolved to break off trade with the Spaniards, and he did not want them to take advantage of friends. He asked me to hold my hand so that they might find out which were Spanish goods. I told him my duty was to protect your Serenity's subjects and trade, and you would not countenance fraud. They are most intent upon breaking off all trade with Spain, but I fancy they will stop the trade of all nations. I enclose a proclamation forbidding the taking of any food or munitions of war to the Spanish dominions. The French, Germans and Northerners will be most affected, but others will not escape, and it also renders the restitution of reprisals more difficult. The Dutch, who are more closely allied than others, will strive hardest against the natural tendency to delay, which hinders all other transactions.
They stand fast by their decision to maintain affairs in Germany but they do not take the readiest way, by co-operating with Denmark; I am told that for Sweden they will content themselves with Camerarius's offices, and will not ask that king to do more, as they lack means to increase their expenditure. They incline more to Gabor, though they have not yet decided anything about him, and their tepid humours need heating.
Nothing has been done for Mansfelt, though he has made the same requests of the Most Christian and the King of Bohemia as he made at this Court, saying he could do nothing without their consent, but would have to withdraw if he did not have help or could not take advantage of Denmark's forces.
It is reported that the assembly at Brunswick has not come to any prejudicial decision, and that Denmark's forces have gained an advantage over Tilly. The Margrave of Baden has renewed his proposals through the Palatine's agent, with letters to his Majesty and the duke, again pointing out the danger of the loss of the remainder of his States, and without some decision his fortress of Hochimbergh cannot hold out any longer. The agent was to treat with his Majesty about a diversion, and offered to back his interests in France, where the matter must be dealt with, as they must bear the expense.
In coming from the Hague Buckingham brought the ratification of the alliance with their High Mightinesses and now his Majesty is sending his in full authentic form, so that the carrying out of the things agreed upon may not fail.
Contradictory news is being discussed here; on the one hand that the emperor has sent to the Infanta's ambassador about dividing the Palatinate properly among the occupiers; on the other that Gondomar has written to the king or to be reported to him, about the Catholic's desire to satisfy him. The time had come to avoid the derision of the world in not receiving those who despise them (esser tempo di non far rider il Mondo di non reciver quelli che le desprezzano), but to embrace the affection offered by his Catholic Majesty. I cannot say that I have this on sound authority; it is true that Gondomar went to Flanders and continues there with the constant object of coming to this island one day, but appearances become more and more against this.
The king wanted to leave the city for some days, but the Scotch lords, who are very numerous, as well as the Lords of the Council, detained him; a sharp division exists between the desires of his Majesty and the pretensions of that nation. The king has spoken publicly in the presence of all, saying that the welfare of England is inseparable from Scotland, but all do not admit this as they like to have the interests separate, since they are divided among themselves, partly about maintaining their privileges, partly for the satisfaction of his Majesty, and the difficulties turn upon two leading points. One concerns the usual revocation made by the kings of all the acts of their predecessor, which the Scots do not want in the manner devised but by their parliament, such being their privilege; otherwise they fear losing their privileges, both collectively and severally, as the king might take back the alienated possessions and change the appointments which they clam to hold ad vitam or ad culpam.
The other consists in the continuation of his Majesty's demands that they should maintain twenty ships, 2,000 soldiers, 800 sailors and the necessary munitions; but the Scots do not agree to accept this charge, fearing to break their practice to the contrary and make themselves subject to it for ever. They want the king to rest satisfied with a large subsidy with which they have provided him, but which his Majesty would renounce if they undertook the said expense.
One of the largest of the royal ships has been wrecked on the coast of Ireland. Cecil is to leave 2,000 men in that island to strengthen the forces there, and they will provide for the other needs of the fleet in this kingdom.
The coronation, which should coincide with the public entry, is confirmed, but the entry is postponed until May to allow time for the display, and perhaps to prevent that from being too great, the expense being lessened by having the coronation only.
London, the 23rd January, 1625 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
437. Proclamation that food or munitions of war for the King of Spain or any of his subjects may be considered lawful booty (fn. 2) .
Dated at Hampton Court, the 31st December, 1625.
[Italian.]
Jan. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
438. To the Ambassador in England.
We hear of promising overtures for an accommodation with the Huguenots in France. To forward this good relations with England would be most helpful. The detention of French ships, dispersing their goods and money and refusing to restore them, all help to encourage ill feeling, especially when added to private differences between their Majesties and the support given to Soubise. Although his Majesty and his ministers may be influenced by regard for the inclinations of parliament, yet you will point out that such exasperations may spoil the success of his Majesty's plans, especially as such differences with the Most Christian will necessarily lead to a good understanding with the Catholic; the more because the pope has sent troops to help Feria and the mission of a legate to Spain may have ulterior objects. Enriched by their fleet the Spaniards propose to resist England's plans, and the Catholic intends to go to Lisbon to strengthen his fleet. To keep France busy with internal commotions means compelling her to abandon Italy or to make terms. Accordingly the Spaniards try every device to prevent a settlement with the Huguenots, and it will behove his Majesty to remove these seeds of discord. We believe that the Ambassador of Savoy and Botru, who will have arrived by now, will support these ideas; you will try to act in concert with them, proving to the king and ministers our sincerity and zeal in the public cause, so that you may make the impression upon his Majesty that is so desirable.
We send this by way of France, where we are sending on purpose.
You will keep up a full correspondence with our ambassador there.
Ayes, 135.Noes, 0.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
439. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have your Serenity's instructions of the 27th December about the matter of the English consul at Aleppo. I had a special audience of his Majesty. At the beginning of my account the king interrupted me saying that he had already written to Constantinople for information; he promised justice and seemed strongly inclined to satisfy the republic.
I pressed this matter, saying it was not a case for further information but to reform an evil; but the king asked me to speak to his secretary. Seeing that I could not present the matter as I wished, I pointed out to his Majesty the evil consequences to be feared and he should beware lest the interests of the crown should suffer for private interests, and the ministers were only trying to fill private pockets. It was very extraordinary that his ministers should venture to lay charges upon the subjects of a foreign prince with the help of the Turk and claim that they need not appeal to his Majesty.
The king, however, whether because he was sufficiently persuaded or did not wish to hear any more, said I spoke true but I must go to his secretary; so I passed to other matters.
I spoke on the subject to the duke and other Lords of the Council, who told me that the king's subjects also complain, but they could not answer of themselves and must leave the decision to the king and the Council. However, I think I made a strong impression upon them, as I have made a special point about the appeal to the Turks.
I also spoke to the Secretary Conway. He listened attentively and declared that all condemned the appeal to the Turks, but their merchants remonstrate and had presented a paper which the Council had instructed him to hand to me. He asked me to make my demands in writing. Accordingly I prepared the enclosed sheet, which is calculated to move them, as they hate Turkish justice, and the efforts of the ambassador or consul to deal with a matter of such moment by themselves, and to make them suspect that they are aiming at their own private advantage while the whole nation may suffer prejudice if your Serenity refuses to permit the hiring of English ships. I have acted advisedly as I am sure that the people here are naturally free, unless the king orders otherwise, to trade and use their ships for their own profit in the way they judge best. I have asked for an examination of the privileges of the Levant Company, as I suspect that their claims are a usurpation by the merchants against the king's wishes. The Company itself hires ships from individuals for its own use. I hope that they will forbid the ambassador to appeal to the Turkish ministers and order him to refer the matter to the king, and further recall the consul home, or at least send him to report to the ambassador. It appears that the duke, on private grounds, wants the ambassador recalled, to the regret of many.
London, the 30th January, 1625. [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
440. Copy of paper about Aleppo to be presented to his Majesty's Council.
The matter at Aleppo only grows worse. The English consul has not given up appealing to the Turkish Courts, while the purser of a ship hired by Venetian merchants has been detained. The consul persists in his evil designs and his Majesty's ambassador at the Porte seems to support him by appealing to the leading Turkish ministers, moved by his private interests and not the king's' advantage. Such claims have never been made before. The fact of the goods going in an English ship is no argument, as the hiring of their ships is an advantage to the English and the consul would derive no advantage if the ships arrived empty, while his Majesty's subjects would suffer loss if this trouble prevented the hiring of English ships and disturbed the existing friendly relations, as the English enjoy every favour throughout the Venetian State. Such disputes only leave the Turks free to prosecute their evil designs. When our consul offered to refer the matter to his Majesty, they refused to consider it. It is therefore most necessary that his Majesty should give prompt attention to this affair.
[Italian.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
441. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have encountered difficulties about the ship Faith and fear that many may suffer loss. The king told me he understood that I might have the papers when I liked; the liquid goods should be handed over promptly and the rest should be deposited in a safe place until the owners were known, perishable goods being sold and the money placed in deposit. As the ship had to be unladed and in the absence of powers from the parties I thought this just, and the Secretary Cuch has sent me half the papers, not showing the entire cargo; and they wrong us by assuming that the goods are Spanish.
I have spoken to the duke, who is interested as Lord High Admiral. He told me that all the ambassadors had agreed to remonstrate, and they want to cover Spanish goods under their aegis; the king is determined to break the trade of that nation, and we must not cry out before we are hurt, or claim papers or think that they have designs upon their goods; that is not the English way, and so forth, with far more heat than was necessary and as if it was my business to prove that the goods belonged to Venetians and not his to show that they were Spanish.
I told him I followed my instructions and looked after our merchants. We had no concern in their trade with Spain, but must defend our liberty. A breach with Spain did not make it necessary for them to offend all their friends. The king had promised me the reverse; the practice of all nations, including England, did not accord with their present action. I pointed out that the English ship, laded at Venice by Venetian merchants with Venetian goods, came to England before the war and the prohibition, and the prohibition itself permitted trade in such goods.
The duke said he did not believe that his Majesty wished it so; and I must rest content with having made my protest. I adduced many arguments, but with no effect. I will continue my importunity.
All dislike this confusion, and there is no one to remedy it. The Admiralty knows nothing and everything is done by secret counsels in the interests of the duke. He cares little that all nations are offended, even the Hanse towns, and that remonstrances are made every day. He expects, apparently, to obtain a lot of money, to supply their needs, but it will prove a most pernicious provision; he expects to do the same by reprisals, and there is no vessel now, whatever its strength, but carries letters of marque.
Nevertheless the people are not entirely satisfied, as they would like a free war without any conditions. In that case they would make reprisals without having to render account, whereas by the last proclamation they have to pay customs and tenths to the admiral, who professes to grant everything for the king's service. They fear much trouble from having to bring their booty here, and that more than half may be taken away. In any case the force of private individuals will be more harmful than the king's, and friends will be more subject to loss, as the Spaniards trade but little on their own account.
I fancy that upon other occasions confiscation has had an effect against the remonstrances made, but the feeling against the duke is great and universal. Although he tries to satisfy the people it seems that the great, the commons who compose the parliament and the Scots, stick to him more and more. It is not known what course parliament will follow. The king seems determined to support this nobleman, while the parliamentarians on the other hand talk about refusing supplies for what is wanted unless he is put down, calculating that they will obtain the reform of the public service from the king's extreme necessity. The duke is guided by the private counsels of individuals, who are partly inexperienced in affairs, partly malicious. As his own experience is inadequate he seems likely to come to grief between the one and the other, with the loss of the fruit of their good deliberations, although his intentions are considered excellent (ma grande e la comotione generale di tutte contra il Duca, et ancor che egli procuri di sodisfar il popolo, pare che sempre più se gli aderino li Grandi, le communità che formano il Parlamento, li Scocesi et non si sa ove parera il medisimo Parlamento, mentre il Re mostra di voler il sostenimento di questo Signore et li parlamentarii parlano di non fornir alli bisogni che con la oppressione di esso, stimando dall' estrema necessityà del Re di cavar la regola del servitio publico. Si guida egli con consigli particolari di persone, parte imperiti delle cose, parte malitiosi et con isperienza minore del bisogno pare che tra gli uni et gli altri egli si perdi con perder il frutto delle buone deliberationi ancor che le sue intentioni siano stimate buonissime).
The duke has proposed a present for the Queen of Bohemia of 100,000 francs, declaring that she was in debt. All the Council approved and the king signed the order himself. They are trying hard to find the money. It is not known whether the queen asked for this or if the duke acted independently. It is surmised that some secret arrangement may have been made in Holland. But a minister who knows all the secrets of the Palatine, writes of the opinions formed at this Court, but adds nothing further except that the duke treated in a private manner and is privy to the most secret and confidential affairs of the Princes Palatine. It is not thought that the Palatine approves of the things done here. There is no sign of the marriage negotiation between that prince's eldest son and Buckingham's daughter, although the duke obtained every show of inclination and affection in public and to every appearance that of the queen so far as the respect which she owes to the king her brother would allow.
William of Nassau, admiral of the Dutch fleet, which has been in Spain, has come to this Court, where he received a welcome and entertainment. He expressed to me his devotion to the republic. He has already left for Holland, they say with orders to victual his fleet, although it is supplied for three months, his Majesty having urged the Dutch to be ready to contribute to the second fleet.
Here they make a show of hurrying on their provisions, pressing ships, and it is reported that very soon they will press 18,000 men, and 40 experienced minor officers have come from Holland to drill them. But the affairs of France keep such decisions in the balance. Mansfelt has no reply and they have refused Baden for lack of money. The Palatine has written personally to the Secretary Conway urging them to send to the electoral diet. They think the congress of Brunswick has been broken off without result. They speak of successful actions by Mansfelt and Alberstat.
In this kingdom the Scots continue to make difficulties, and refuse with determination to leave, since every kind of justice is thwarted in Scotland, with the absence of the Council. They have warned the Catholics against going five miles away from their dwellings and against asking leave to go elsewhere, except for legitimate causes, otherwise they will incur severe penalties.
I regret the interruption of the free course of my despatches, which I generally send by Antwerp and Paris. I have done my best to send advices promptly. My pen is constantly employed, but the remedy does not lie with me, as in this island, cut off from the world, I am at the discretion of my friends and enemies.
Francesco Grimani, son of the late Piero, being anxious for more experience, has gone to Holland.
London, the 30th January, 1625 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
442. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
News has come from France of the reception of his Majesty's ambassadors and their first audiences, though it does not accord with their expectations and desires here. I found the duke very agitated and in great confidence he told me the news was of the worst description. The Most Christian has decided upon the ruin of the Protestants and to carry matters to extremities, using time to destroy la Rochelle. The duke said a great deal about the mischief of this decision; the Bishop of Mande had not performed good offices; the ambassador here had persuaded them that the king here has neither men nor money; he saw clearly that bad advice had led the Most Christian thus far, and he could not turn back to peace with honour. The duke went on to say that the French have employed every means for a rupture between his Majesty and the Spaniards, and now the war is kindled they mean to carry out their plans to exterminate the Protestant religion, and they would rival the most obsequious in rendering service to the Spaniards, telling them, we will give our fleets to go anywhere.
He went on to tell me that the Rochellese have asked help of the king, showing that they have suffered from the forces which his Majesty lent to France; the French have kept the ships beyond the term and to do more than punish Soubise. There was no remedy, as by the king's advice they had decided to succour la Rochelle. The first courier will recall the ambassadors; they have ordered Peninton to proceed to la Rochelle with as many ships as are sufficient. He remarked: We shall see if we still have a good bargain (buon partito), the Most Christian certainly will not have that place.
When I spoke of the common welfare he assured me that la Rochelle was more important than the Palatinate. They knew the prejudice, but France could only be induced to do right by force. Everything was stopped to see how these affairs would result. He spoke of the fleets to attack Spain and other parts, or sending a force to the Netherlands; of maintaining the forces of Denmark, Brunswick and Mansfelt; of entering the league together; of supporting Gabor; of keeping the French engaged in Italy; these would suffice to secure the public interests.
This important news moved me greatly, after the hopes I had entertained from the sailing of the English fleet. I pointed out the prejudice of a breach between the two crowns, and the danger of giving an advantage to declared enemies. France would have to abandon the public cause and the Spaniards would dominate both France and England. We must not abandon hope at the first refusal. Every possible office should be made in France and to induce the Huguenots to submit. I showed the duke how much this work would redound to his glory and security, but he was too excited and determined and said there was no other remedy even if the Huguenots made every submission.
Upon other occasions I have found the duke's interest in affairs vary according to the prompt movement of his passions (ho provato il Duca più e meno negli affari secondo il pronto sentimento de'suoi affetti); I thought this might be the case now, upon his feelings at the first arrival of the news, but I met the other ministers who also told me of the bad news from France and that the Most Christian had decided to exterminate the Huguenots, but he will find it a hard nut to crack and la Rochelle certainly will not fall. Conway told me that submission of the Huguenots would not be enough, as the conditions offered are not for peace but for their extermination. Peninton has gone to Plymouth to the fleet, to carry out his orders. God grant something may happen to prevent this calamity.
I will lose no opportunity that comes; all the ministers tell me that the king will do his utmost for an adjustment, but otherwise the Spaniards will know how to turn things to account. I do not know if any hope remains that these are merely shows to obtain better resolutions, but it is certain that they desire either peace in France or that the king shall not abandon the Huguenots.
It is superfluous to approach the French ambassador owing to his perversity and his desire to precipitate a rupture. The ministers here are more anxious than ever for his departure. He told me that this depended on himself, as the Cardinal Richelieu had written to him that the Most Christian does not recall his ambassadors at the instance of the English, but reserves their staying or leaving to his own judgment. One might expect them to remove him during these mild offices, but if anything fresh occurs he will go amid ill feeling between the two monarchs.
The ambassador mocks at their not wishing things to go through his hands, saying he rejoices that his master's service is done; in the presence of the Ambassador of Savoy the Duke of Buckingham humbled himself frequently, offering his services to the queen, so that he might take a favourable account to the queen mother, to whom he wished her Majesty to write; but the ambassador stopped this for the reason that it did not become the queen to treat except through the ambassador of the king her brother, and they must first see the promises carried out. In this connection he told me he thought that the ambassador of Savoy had promised the king to make peace in France through the influence of the duke his master and with the constable's support, through whom they had surprised the fortresses of Languedoc, and his Highness had prospered so with the Spaniards that he could force France to follow him.
In speaking of that prince the duke told me that his Majesty will do everything to supply him with ships, and he himself asked the Dutch ambassador to contribute others; but it was not possible to get them from the States. He lamented that in the past France had ruined the plan of joint operations in the Mediterranean and against the Genoese.
London, the 30th January, 1625 [M.V.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
443. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
When I saw the Secretary Conway about current affairs he told me he had orders from his Majesty to come and tell me of the good disposition of Bethelem Gabor to move and work marvels, incited by the representations of the king's ambassador at the Porte and Sir [Isaac] Wake. His Majesty is considering how to employ that prince in the general service of Christendom, breaking for ever all negotiations with the emperor which might serve to prevent the carrying out of the peace between the House of Austria and the Ottomans. This matter concerned the republic, whose prudent advice the king asks as well as proportional assistance. He told me that the States will try to induce the Most Christian to contribute, and they could do everything with 30,000 crowns a month, equally divided between the Most Christian and the States. He promised further particulars in writing.
I did not hesitate to divert his claims by pointing out the expenses already borne by your Serenity and the impossibility of increasing them; but he begged me to report his requests and he said that the Ambassador Wake would lay them before the republic.
In the negotiations and answers about this business I have had to meet the ambassador of the States, who told me, in express offices, that we ought to keep our eyes on Gabor at the present time more than anyone else, and we could engage him for a little money and divert him from treating with Cœsar, while his influence at the Porte will spoil the plans of the Spaniards and prevent the renewal of the peace which is soon to expire. The alliance with Brandenburg may attract the King of Sweden, his brother-in-law, and lead that brave and generous king to make a diversion in Silesia. Your Serenity could easily join in this; he asked me if we could mutually supply each other with troops, adding that by the league Denmark was only bound so long as England paid punctually, and he thought this a fragile tie owing to the needs of the king here and the instability of their own designs. He pointed out to me the danger of all succumbing to the Austrian arms for lack of the counterpoise which France could supply.
The agent of Bohemia spoke to me to the same effect. I answered them all precisely as directed by the public commands.
London, the 30th January, 1625 [M.V.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra,
Venetian
Archives.
444. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After writing and sealing the preceding letters I found that the Duke of Buckingham had had a long conference in the queen's apartments with the French ambassador, to whom he expressed his regret at the ill turn of affairs and his desire to maintain the friendship between the two kings, having based his hopes for his own preservation upon this alliance, and devoted all his service to France. He lamented that the Most Christian, through ill advice, was injuring himself and his friends, and confided to him that his Majesty with his Council had come to three decisions. First, they would openly help la Rochelle, second, they would recall their ambassadors and, third, the duke himself would engage in this. He said the whole Council decided this, partly his friends, hoping to raise his credit with parliament, partly his enemies, to offend them. However, matters had gone so far that it was beyond his power to recede, though out of devotion to the Most Christian he would try and obtain a few days' delay.
These particulars made me curious to probe to the bottom; accordingly I called upon the ambassador and spoke of the good offices proposed by the republic for peace in France and the submission of the Huguenots. He confirmed the foregoing, and gave me further details. The duke in telling him expressed greater esteem for him than in the past, and he had placed his services at the disposal of the king and duke, so far as he could without betraying his master, while complaining of the efforts made to get his recall. The duke told him that they had in hand an adjustment with others and to make an offensive and defensive league against all. He did not believe this, but one can never be sure here, as they are so variable that they might abandon the States for a closer union with France. If the English had spoken to him in this way before he would have represented matters differently in France, but now matters had got out of his hands. The king here had taken alarm prematurely, as his ambassadors have done nothing, but they make him believe that matters will be dragged out in France, and that is why they have hastened the declarations. The ambassador sticks to his opinion of their weakness here, that la Rochelle will soon fall and that taken the Most Christian need not mind others.
I expressed my satisfaction at the ambassador's confidential relations with the duke, and the advantages that might accrue therefrom. I spoke of the advantages of peace, and the great loss of blood and treasure involved by the other course. We might believe England to be moved by zeal for the public weal, and the Most Christian might easily, with honour, console his friends, secure himself and rout his enemies. I pointed out that the Spaniards will lean more readily to this country than to France, as with the latter they only wrangle, whereas with a union here they can claim predominance and press their advantage against the States. In the past the Spaniards have put up with any affront and accommodation with the English to the detriment of the French, and they value English friendship more than they fear hurt from the French. They keep Gondomar near by to make advances, and the Spaniards value this understanding so highly that in the treaty of peace they allow many hostilities which do not constitute open war.
All these considerations prepared his mind and he promised to write to France. He told me, however, that they wanted to persuade him by fear, and not by a proposal for the proper submission of the Huguenots. I told him I was sure the king here would show every consideration of respect to the Most Christian, and if that monarch inclined to peace he would obtain every satisfaction. He will send by express courier and I add these new offices by the ordinary, as I am not deceived recognising that they desire appearances to hasten on the affair or the conclusion. I fancy that the execution will be suspended for some interval, but I cannot vouch for the rest seeing the changeableness of their humours here.
London, the 30th January, 1625 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Denmark House: but the grant is not officially dated before the 14th February. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1625–6, p. 561.
2 Steele: Bibliography of Proclamations, vol. i., page 172.